Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
57,392
20,225



Sony today announced its first CarPlay-supported in-car audio system, the XAV-AX100, which the company touts as offering "everything you need" for long car journeys, including smartphone connectivity, a high-quality sound system, and voice command features. Following Alpine, Kenwood, JVC, JBL, and Pioneer, Sony is the newest company to manufacture aftermarket CarPlay systems.

Thanks to the inclusion of CarPlay, Apple's in-car software platform, users with Sony's new system installed can access Apple Maps, Apple Music, make phone calls, send text messages, and control various functions with the help of Siri. The XAV-AX100 system is also compatible with Android's CarPlay alternative, Android Auto.

sony-carplay-800x401.jpg
In its announcement, Sony focuses on its new system's sound quality, which it says can "overcome engine noise and reproduce clear sound at any volume with deep and punchy bass." Users can even expand the system with other external amplifiers to get a more customized listening experience in their vehicle.
High power sound comes full throttle with the XAV-AX100 in-car audio system. 55 watts x 4 Dynamic Reality Amp 2 and EXTRA BASS(TM) low boost circuitry overcome engine noise and reproduce clear sound at any volume level with deep and punchy bass.

The 10-band graphic equalizer gives an astonishing variety of sound, perfectly complementing EXTRA BASS(TM) for an enjoyable drive. 3-pre out connectivity allows system expandability to connect external amplifiers with a wide range of speaker connections, allowing sound enthusiasts to build their own bespoke system
Users will be able to purchase Sony's XAV-AX100 in-car audio system with included CarPlay support for $499.99 when it goes on the market sometime in late November. The company listed a full roster of the system's technical specifications in its press release.

Article Link: Sony Reveals Its First CarPlay-Supported Audio System, Coming in November
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,481
9,999
Detroit
Users will be able to purchase Sony's XAV-AX100 in-car audio system with included CarPlay support for $499.99 when it goes on the market sometime in late November.
Not too bad of a price for what you get. It feels like its in line with other moderately high-end car stereo's.

I have to say that I really love the Sony stereo that came with my Ford Focus; it sounds fantastic. Plus I should be getting an update to CarPlay this year when Ford pushes it out to the Sync 3 cars, like mine, already out there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Galley

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,296
I agree with all the positive comments here. Sony are great with sound quality too. Brilliant headphones, brilliant speakers, and brilliant car audio systems.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
6,466
7,443
Users will be able to purchase Sony's XAV-AX100 in-car audio system with included CarPlay support for $499.99 when it goes on the market sometime in late November.

This is similarly priced to the other base model aftermarket CarPlay head units. I was able to get the Pioneer App Radio 4 for a decent price and installed that in my Wife's car.

I loved it at first, but my wife would complain about it all the time. I started using her car more and realized why. The CarPlay software was very buggy, slow, and sometimes needed to be turned off, as in turn the car off, to get it working again.

Also, I purchased Alpine's Disc-less CarPlay head unit for my MR2. I returned it right away because it sounded horrible, and had some of the same bugs that the Pioneer had. I couldn't finely tune the sound without using a buggy app too, which I think cost money.

Hopefully Sony's first CarPlay head unit will be better. I might try it if one of my cars' head units break, but I would like to see the price drop a little.
 

rbrian

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
784
342
Aberdeen, Scotland
If your car doesn't have all kinds of integrated entertainment system ****ery, it should pop right in.

How many cars don't? My work recently replaced my 8 year old base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which had an integrated stereo, with a brand new base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which has an integrated stereo. At least the new one has DAB, Bluetooth, and USB - the old one didn't even have aux in, and the CD meant I couldn't even use one of those endless tapes. I found myself listening to Radio 1!
 

zaxxon72

macrumors member
Oct 5, 2007
80
39
Wondering...
  • DAB+?
  • Capacitive/Resistive?
  • wireless CarPlay?
  • Built-in Mic for Bluetooth phone calls? (or what's that dot in the lower left? and the one in the upper left?)
  • Is it really just 1.5cm deep, or was that just the overly eager photoshop jockey?
  • removable front?
Can't wait for November... the others [pioneer|kenwood|etc.] seem asleep....
[doublepost=1471620110][/doublepost]
This. It's a good looking unit, but that physical volume buttons would be the most relevant selling point to me. For the sake of safe operation while driving, I think a physical volume button is a no-brainer.
That's why I "hate" Kenwood for including a CD-Drive... (and going with resistive...)
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,972
5,213
Toronto, Canada
How many cars don't? My work recently replaced my 8 year old base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which had an integrated stereo, with a brand new base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which has an integrated stereo. At least the new one has DAB, Bluetooth, and USB - the old one didn't even have aux in, and the CD meant I couldn't even use one of those endless tapes. I found myself listening to Radio 1!
By "integrated" I mean those obnoxious panels with environmental controls and stuff baked in.
 

yg17

macrumors Pentium
Aug 1, 2004
15,009
2,786
St. Louis, MO
How many cars don't? My work recently replaced my 8 year old base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which had an integrated stereo, with a brand new base model Vauxhall Corsavan, which has an integrated stereo. At least the new one has DAB, Bluetooth, and USB - the old one didn't even have aux in, and the CD meant I couldn't even use one of those endless tapes. I found myself listening to Radio 1!
My 2015 WRX stereo isn't integrated and I was able to swap it with a Pioneer unit, but it is a rarity on newer cars. I'm not sure how much longer aftermarket car stereos are going to be around.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bubba Satori

caliguy

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2005
307
837
Wow, surprisingly affordable. I bought a Pioneer AppRadio 4 about a year ago and it was $600.
I hope these head units start featuring OLED displays. Would be a huge benefit for night driving.
 

rbrian

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
784
342
Aberdeen, Scotland
By "integrated" I mean those obnoxious panels with environmental controls and stuff baked in.
I haven't seen a clearly removable one since my 1994 Ford Fiesta. Every car or van I've been in (dozens, from several different manufacturers) since my 1998 Ford Focus has at the very least had a plastic panel hiding the rectangular shape, and a separate clock linked to the radio, either on a separate display or within the instrument panel. Is it different in America, or is a little cutting considered standard practice for changing a stereo?
[doublepost=1471623218][/doublepost]
My 2015 WRX stereo isn't integrated and I was able to swap it with a Pioneer unit, but it is a rarity on newer cars. I'm not sure how much longer aftermarket car stereos are going to be around.
Well, there aren't many standard WRXs, so they probably made it easy to change since a large proportion of the drivers would anyway - they need a loud stereo so they can hear it over the aftermarket exhaust! ;)
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,264
1,243
You can usually still get adapter panels that mount flush and match the texture and color of console.

Yet another CarPlay radio, that doesn't have or doesn't list HD Radio as an option. I lose like 20 radio stations (2 of which I REALLY like) if an HD tuner isn't included.
 

rolsskk

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2008
300
297
Well, there aren't many standard WRXs, so they probably made it easy to change since a large proportion of the drivers would anyway - they need a loud stereo so they can hear it over the aftermarket exhaust! ;)
Aftermarket....nooooo, it came from the factory like that. :cool: (sarcasm)

Aside from changing out the swaybars/endlinks and the shifter, I'd say that changing the stereo is the biggest night and day difference in a WRX.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rbrian

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,972
5,213
Toronto, Canada
I haven't seen a clearly removable one since my 1994 Ford Fiesta. Every car or van I've been in (dozens, from several different manufacturers) since my 1998 Ford Focus has at the very least had a plastic panel hiding the rectangular shape, and a separate clock linked to the radio, either on a separate display or within the instrument panel. Is it different in America, or is a little cutting considered standard practice for changing a stereo?
I have a 2000 Ford Focus, and I just needed to buy a dash kit to make the stereo I installed flush.

Sometimes you need to remove and put back in a whole section of the dashboard to install these things, but that's why (most) people pay professionals to do it.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
6,466
7,443
I'm not sure how much longer aftermarket car stereos are going to be around.

I kind of have mixed feelings about this. I see your point, and agree with you. As more and more cars are becoming more electrically complex and integrated, probably more so with autonomous vehicles, there will be less of a need for aftermarket head units.

But, as long as car manufacturers keep using expensive infotainment systems that are slow, outdated, and buggy software, I think aftermarket head units will still be needed. The aftermarket companies may even adapt and make adapters for the integrated systems.

The auto companies also are slow on the updates to these infotainment systems, and drop support quickly. I talking about you Mazda.

The one company that seems to be consistently keeping up with updates on older vehicles lately has been Ford.
 

tribaltek

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2011
32
8
Aside from changing out the swaybars/endlinks and the shifter, I'd say that changing the stereo is the biggest night and day difference in a WRX.

The OEM shifter on my STi was garbage. Kartboy shifter and bushings to the rescue.

I installed a Parrot Asteroid stereo a while ago, but I'd rather have CarPlay. Might look into this.
 

yg17

macrumors Pentium
Aug 1, 2004
15,009
2,786
St. Louis, MO
I kind of have mixed feelings about this. I see your point, and agree with you. As more and more cars are becoming more electrically complex and integrated, probably more so with autonomous vehicles, there will be less of a need for aftermarket head units.

But, as long as car manufacturers keep using expensive infotainment systems that are slow, outdated, and buggy software, I think aftermarket head units will still be needed. The aftermarket companies may even adapt and make adapters for the integrated systems.

The auto companies also are slow on the updates to these infotainment systems, and drop support quickly. I talking about you Mazda.

The one company that seems to be consistently keeping up with updates on older vehicles lately has been Ford.
The thing is though, I don't know if you can swap out infotainment systems in a lot of these cars. Up until recently, I was traveling almost weekly for work and renting a lot of cars, and in probably at least 75% of them, the infotainment system is heavily integrated into the car somehow. The radios are just buttons and a screen on the dashboard, integrated with the climate controls, I don't see how you could replace the radio. Old cars had the standard DIN and 2DIN openings with no integration which made swapping radios a breeze. Now, nothing is standard, I don't know how you would swap out the factory radio with an aftermarket one.

Aftermarket....nooooo, it came from the factory like that. :cool: (sarcasm)

Aside from changing out the swaybars/endlinks and the shifter, I'd say that changing the stereo is the biggest night and day difference in a WRX.

Oh god, yes. My car is completely stock, except for the radio. I even had the factory navigation unit. The factory radio was terrible. Sound quality was crap, the UI was slow, Bluetooth was a crapshoot.

I had a RAV4 as a rental last month, it loses a few points for no CarPlay, and loses the rest of it's points for being a boring Toyota, but the infotainment system in there is top notch. Even a Prius rental I had back in 2011 or 2012 (which has negative points) had a good infotianment system. Toyota may make boring cars, but they know how to put a decent stereo in them.
 

Juicy Box

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
6,466
7,443
The thing is though, I don't know if you can swap out infotainment systems in a lot of these cars. Up until recently, I was traveling almost weekly for work and renting a lot of cars, and in probably at least 75% of them, the infotainment system is heavily integrated into the car somehow. The radios are just buttons and a screen on the dashboard, integrated with the climate controls, I don't see how you could replace the radio. Old cars had the standard DIN and 2DIN openings with no integration which made swapping radios a breeze. Now, nothing is standard, I don't know how you would swap out the factory radio with an aftermarket one.

You could be right, but that's why I said that the aftermarket companies might adapt to the changes.

Example, my Wife's Mazda5 has a huge factory radio in it, it is somewhat integrated with a separate display system that also includes information about the environmental control system, like fan speed, temperature and such.

There is an adapter you can get to display stuff form an aftermarket head unit on that separate display, and use the steering wheel controls for the radio.

And there is a double din trim kit that takes that huge space where the giant radio was and put a double din radio in. There are a crap load of other examples like this one.

All I am saying is that it is possible for aftermarket companies to adapt. Maybe not to every car, but who knows, maybe most.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,611
1,726
Colorado Springs, CO
Wow, a company managed to put out a touchscreen car stereo with an interface that doesn't look like it was designed by someone on a caffeine-fuelled '90s Photoshop filter binge. I never thought I'd see the day.

Plus, an actual knob for controlling the volume.
Thank goodness for CarPlay I rarely have to see my Pioneer 4100NEX's UI. The physical volume control isn't a huge selling point for me as a lot of cars these days have volume rockers on their steering wheels.
 

afd

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2005
1,109
265
Scotland
I'm not sure there are many new cars that are able to accept aftermarket stereos. The radios in our cars, a fiesta and Mini, both have fairly basic radios but they are tied into the trip computer. I'm sure I could fit the Sony into both cars and have it working but am not so sure how easy the trip computer etc. would be to work.
Car manufacturers use radios like Apple uses flash storage, you need to pay over the odds to get what you want.
Better off buying an older car and putting in anew stereo...
 
  • Like
Reactions: rbrian
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.